Community is one of the most overused and least understood words we use in church today. As a general rule, we seem to understand it as kind of a "feeling" the group seems to have. But there is much more to this word than we realize. Our world suffers from superficial, feel-good community. Unfortunately, this malady has spilled into the church as well. The typical Baptist church today has roughly fifty per cent of its worship attenders who also attend Sunday School. So half of our morning attenders are probably not in a "biblical community". They may be attenders, but they are not yet belongers!
One of the most important things your group can do is offer community, a real and honest place where people can belong and bring their hurts, disappointments, and shortcomings. Superficial alternatives to community are everywhere, including the church. Your group must be about genuine, biblical community.
Finally, a true biblical community is essential to biblical discipleship. Throughout the New Testament there are examples of biblical community: Jesus and the twelve; Paul and Timothy; Peter and Mark. Jason Hayes and Ed Stetzer share the following progression of discipleship.
Belong Believe Become
This kind of community does not just happen by accident. This community occurs through close proximity. I want to encourage you to look at your group closely. Who in your group is in need of a personal visit? This person may be someone who is longing for a group where they can belong. Many times you, as the leader of your class, can help them in their journey through simple actions such as a phone call or a cup of coffee at your local diner.